DT 29312 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29312

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29312

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the locked down Vega Baja.  At the risk of incurring a large fine I’m not allowed out of my house for any reason apart from essential journeys.  These include trips to food stores, pharmacies, banks, petrol stations, tobacco shops and, bizarrely, hairdressers and dry cleaners.  Apparently, if you’re going suffer from coronavirus in Spain it’s important to have a smart hairdo and a clean suit. Actually there’s not much point in going out as all bars and restaurants are closed.  I think I’m going to be doing a lot of crosswords.

On to the puzzle.  I’m not sure but I don’t think I’ve ever blogged a Monday puzzle before so it’s been a bit of a new experience for me.  It wasn’t too difficult but a couple of tricky bits to keep us on our toes.  A few anagrams and a few gimmes to give a good start so I don’t think many of you will be needing these hints.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Issue returned by boy at the last moment (4,2,4)
JUST IN TIME:  A word meaning to issue is reversed (returned) and placed after (by) a boy’s name and then the lot is split (4,2,4).  For some reason it took a while for the penny to drop on this one.

6a           Somewhat obscene material turning stomachs over (4)
SMUT:  Take a childish word for stomach, don’t forget it’s plural, and reverse it (turning . . . over).

10a         Monk astride large pack animal (5)
LLAMA:  A Tibetan monk around L(arge).

11a         Laird, perhaps, in an unhappy mood by end of tribunal (9)
LANDOWNER:  The end of tribunal is the L so after this you need the AN from the clue and an unhappy mood or something that makes you unhappy.

12a         Well-liked university in London area (7)
POPULAR: U(niversity) placed in a London area which has the name of a tree.  A bit of a chestnut but I still like it.

13a         Bad lot, I suspect, in newspaper (7)
TABLOID:  Anagram (suspect) of BAD LOT I.

14a         What a crane may get, and what one may get from a crane? (5-3,4)
BIRDS EYE VIEW:  Of course a crane or other avian would get this  and so would you if you were lifted high by a crane.

18a         Book full of promise about Cochran’s style of music? (8,4)
BRIGHTON ROCK:  Take a word meaning full of promise, two letters for about and Eddie Cochran’s style of music and split (8,4) to get a famous book by Graham Greene.  Here’s a bit of the great Eddie . . .

21a         Boyfriend, initially visiting model prison, brings pot (4-3)
TOBY JUG:  B (Boyfriend initially) inserted into (visiting) a phrase (3,3) which could mean a model prison.

23a         Feeling demonstrated by symbol Charlie left out (7)
EMOTION:  Take a symbol widely used on computers and remove (left out) the letter represented by the word Charlie in the phonetic alphabet.

24a         Revolutionary tsar China crushed (9)
ANARCHIST:  Anagram (crushed) of TSAR CHINA.  This is one of those tricky ones where the anagram fodder is obvious but which of the other words is the indicator and which the definition?

25a         Crown I found inside O’Hara’s plantation (5)
TIARA:  The name of Scarlett O’Hara’s plantation in the film Gone with the Wind has an I inserted (found inside).

26a         Changed course, reportedly, showing diplomacy (4)
TACT:  This word for diplomacy sounds like (reportedly) a word for changing course in a sailing boat.

27a         Old TV show for children produced by drama group (4,6)
PLAY SCHOOL:  A word for a drama followed by a group or sect.


1d           Left work in American sucker’s tin lizzie (6)
JALOPY:  L(eft) and the usual two letter work inserted into an American slang term for a sucker or gullible person.  I’d never come across this word for a sucker before.

2d           Smart, agent snatching short sleep (6)
SNAPPY:  Take the usual secret agent and insert (snatching) a word for a short sleep.

3d           Maiden secured by one fairly good ball — never mind the others! (2,3,5,4)
IM ALL RIGHT JACK:  Start with I (one), then a phrase (3,5) meaning fairly good and finally the small ball used in a game of bowls.  Insert (secured by) an M (maiden over in cricket notation) and split the lot (2,3,5,4) to get a phrase meaning you’re OK and not bothered about anyone else.  It’s also a film starring Peter Sellers.

4d           Listener participation show at RKO — dial free (4,5)
TALK RADIO:  Anagram (free) of AT RKO DIAL.

5d           Mount enthralling solitary landscape painter (5)
MONET:  The abbreviation of mount has a word for solitary or single inserted (enthralling).

7d           Guy, old, playing popular instrument (8)
MANDOLIN:  A word for a guy or chap followed by an anagram (playing) of OLD and finally the usual two letters for popular or fashionable.

8d           Go lower and lower (4,4)
TURN DOWN:  A word for your go, in a board game perhaps, followed by a word describing something that’s lower.

9d           Puzzle about circles circulated after party (6,8)
DOUBLE ACROSTIC:  After the usual two letter party you need an anagram (circulated) of ABOUT CIRCLES.

15d         Seriously ahead of time parked outside home (9)
EARNESTLY:  A word meaning ahead of time is placed around (parked outside) a bird’s home.

16d         Remove a bishop’s booklet (8)
ABSTRACT: The A from the clue, the letter for a Bishop in chess notation, the ‘S from the clue and finally a booklet or piece of writing.

17d         Passing across note, Calvin ordered something to drink in a Parisian bar (3,5)
VIN BLANC:  Take the two letters meaning note well in Latin and around them (passing across) put an anagram (ordered) of CALVIN.

19d         Domineering female artist in Spanish port (6)
VIRAGO:  The usual artist inserted into (in) a port in northwestern Spain.

20d         Characters immersed in scandal lied, as well as the rest (3,3)
AND ALL:  A lurker hiding in (characters immersed in) the next two words of the clue.

22d         Cook taking breather round middle of afternoon (5)
GRILL:  A method of cooking is a fish’s breather placed around the middle letter of afteRnoon.

No stand-out favourite for me but 3d is worth a mention as are 22d and 6a.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:           SETT     +     FOURTH     =     SET FORTH

Bottom line:     FORCED     +     AWLS     =     FORESTALLS

84 comments on “DT 29312

  1. 2*/3*. Light and enjoyable fare for a Monday morning.

    Nice to see the Americanism indicated in 1d. 14a is clever and I particularly liked 6a & 18a.

    Many thanks to, presumably, Campbell, and thanks and welcome to Mondays, pommers. Great Eddie Cochran track too.

  2. A very pleasant start to the work week (such as it is in the present circumstances) completed at a fast gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.
    Quite a large Hmm on 1a.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 26a, and 19d – and the winner is 26a.
    Thanks to the setter and pommers – welcome to the Monday ‘slot.’

  3. Thank you pommers. I’ve been productive this morning without the blog getting in my way. Very Mondayish puzzle today. Thanks to Allan Scott for the puzzle and our besuited blogger with the neat hairstyle

  4. Enjoyed this as always on a Monday and it took my usual time. I liked 14a and 3d.

    I didn’t know the American word for sucker but with all the checkers in the answer was obvious. When I looked it up suddenly the phrase for risk-taking pedestrians made sense! You live and learn.

    Many thanks to Pommers (welcome to Mondays) and the setter.

  5. Pleasant Monday offering, the solutions of a few being somewhat more obvious than the parsings.
    I liked 6a and 3d but my favourite was 14a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers (welcome to the Monday blog sir).
    Ps was hoping we might have had Queen’s rendition of 18 but will settle for EC.

  6. Nice & gentle Monday fare completed in ** time but very enjoyable nonetheless. 9d & 18a my pick of the clues.
    Thanks to all.

  7. A pleasant but not too taxing puzzle – thanks to the setter and pommers (welcome to Mondays).
    The clues I liked best were 3d and 8d.
    I thought that 6a would have been a crisper clue without the ‘over’.

  8. Welcome to Monday, pommers, and thank you for the hints (though I didn’t need any today) and I hope you enjoy your many crossword puzzles over the duration (Duration?). So will I as long as the Internet continues to exist in these parlous times. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s gentle challenge, especially the SW corner beginning farther up with 3d. My winners today: 3d, 21a, and 18a, with a tossup between 21 and 18 for COTD. (But I’ll settle on GG’s hard candy, with Pinky still giving me the creeps. My students always cringed throughout our discussions as well.) Thanks to pommers and the setter. * / **** I hope everyone is ‘all right’!

  9. We are in lockdown on the beautiful island of Mallorca – same conditions as Pommers. Dog walkers can walk, but not us – so a clean suit, nice hair and a hound complete the picture.
    Anyway, lovely crossword today, right up my alley for difficulty and plenty of ‘aha’ moments. Keep ‘me coming, it’s going to be a long haul.. **/****

    1. Forgot to mention the dog walking bit as we have cats instead. I’ve just found out that hairdressers are now closed but they are allowed to make home visits.

      1. We have same conditions for essentials as Pommers in all of Italy. But I cannot find out whether I can visit the local waste disposal centre … we live remotely so no collection. I’ll just have to give it a go. Crosswords are a lifeline, but I like to print them. Just before lockdown I ordered a laser cassette, but it didn’t arrive in time. The crosswords are fading and I have no idea whether I can collect the new one! I’ll shake it till it’s dry.

        Anyway, pleasant crossword. Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  10. Not my cup of tea today, I’m afraid. Far too many bung-ins, I am guessing it’s my lack of GK again.

    18a, 25a, 1d, 19d all needed the hints for me to fully parse them. Grid completed in ** time, but no feeling of satisfaction. Thanks to the compiler and Pommers.

  11. A straightforward set of clues and a rapidly completed crossword means a rating of 1.5*/4* from me today. I liked 1a 1d and 19d but needed a hint to parse 9d so thank you Pommers. Thanks also to the setter. A busy morning taking delivery of my groceries minus the toilet roll and kitchen towels of course ( not even a substituted roll of Izal in sight). I have saved the last week’s newspapers just in case.

  12. I didn’t find it easy at all but I did enjoy it .
    I particularly liked 14a and 17d.
    Like pommers , I’m in lockdown with only the dog for company as my husband in marooned in Albuquerque .
    Thanks to pommers and the setter.

  13. A very entertaining crossword from the “Double Punster”.

    Thanks to pommers for the review.

  14. Easy enough – whizzed through this one. I always have to guess at clues like 27a though as being in Canada I have no clue what kids may watch on UK TV! Sometimes I don’t think setters realise that there are many folks who do the crossword who are not familiar with such GK. Here not too difficult to guess at though.

    1. It ran from 1964 to 1988 so was enjoyed by my youngest sister in its early days and then by both my sons in the 80s

    2. Neither did I in England know the American word for sucker (plus as a child where I came from a sucker was an ice lolly). However I know what a tin Lizzie is and clue easy to work out. I think it is marvellous that people from all over the world enjoy the DT crossword and most importantly have access to this fantastic blog. However, let us not forget that this is an English newspaper and I think the setters do very well to accommodate all. Most clues can be worked out with the checkers and confirmed with Mr Google. Incidentally I had never heard of Talk Radio and was convinced until I spotted the anagram that the first word was Call as I have heard of Call-Ins.

  15. Strangely this was a puzzle of two halves N&S it wasn’t until I got 18a that things started to fall into place. A nice quiet start to the week. It will probably get more entertaining throughout the week. Thanks to a well suited and coiffed Pommers and to setter. Hopefuuly in the wilds of North Cornwall we will escape the nasties. Hope all keep well.

  16. Good fun, Mondayish and enjoyable. Nothing terribly taxing but having done battle with supermarkets, petrol stations and farm shops I was not in the mood for anything too cerebral. It feels like there is a siege mentality developing, and, even though you try hard not to get involved, not to panic buy, you end up doing the same thing. Back to the puzzle. 6a gets my vote from many fine clues as favourite.

    Thanks AS and pommers.

  17. A great start to the week and a most enjoyable solve. I did need one hint but the rest yielded in a steady stream. No real favourites but I did like 1a, 14a and 22d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the hints and Eddie.

    Keep well everyone.

  18. A well done for me today, as I managed to complete it but needed some help with one or two parsings .

    Is it just me being geographically challenged or does everybody know Vigo as a Spanish port ?
    Didn’t know the American dupe in 1d either…..
    Enjoyed it, though.
    Thanks to Pommers and to the setter,

    1. Vigo is perhaps a little obscure but it turns up in crosswords from time to time so worth remembering.

      1. I’m not sure that Vigo will appreciate being referred to as either “a little obscure” or “it”. :wink:

          1. Sorry, Hoofit, my attempt at a joke fell flat. Vigo is the pseudonym of one of Big Dave’s best NTSPP setters.

    2. I agree. Had not heard of Vigo or 1d, US name for sucker. Also 3D not technically right in my view. I’m Alright Jack is the actual phrase. I was hence completely thrown on that one.

  19. The advice is if you cough or sneeze to do it into the crook of your arm. So what do people do? They stockpile toilet paper which just goes to show it’s true that many people don’t know their a**e from their elbow :lol:

  20. An intriguing challenge with the North beating the South to it. Failed to fully parse 1d as American sucker didn’t occur to me. 18d held out to the end but did enjoy Eddie Cochran video 🎸- “those were the days my friend we thought they’d never end”! Fav was definitely 14a. Thank you Mysteron and Pommers. Thank goodness for crosswords whilst we golden oldies are confined to barracks! Phew 🧻 managed to buy some at a Co-op!

  21. Perfect for a lovely warm sunny Monday morning spent stocking up (not panic buying, just buying things we needed anyway) before Mr CS gets confined to the house and I’m allowed out (as I’m just too young to be affected by the stay at home rules) but when I get back, I have to stay 2 metres away from him!

    Thanks to the Double Punning setter and welcome to Mondays, Pommers

  22. Nice puzzle on the whole somewhat spoilt by 1d which must be the stupidest clue in a long time.
    Such a shame that a setter should feel it necessary to resort to US slang when they have the whole of the English language to choose from.
    Thx for the hints

    1. If you use the English language correctly you never end a sentence with a preposition.

      … from which to choose.

      The Pedants are revolting!

            1. “Sir, you are drunk”
              “Indeed, my good Lady, and you are ugly; but in the morning I shall be sober”

        1. I like the story of the little boy who is disgusted by his father’s choice of bedtime reading: “Daddy, what did you bring that book for me to be read to out of up for?”.

          1. One of my Lambs, can’t remember which one but probably the Elder, said almost exactly that when she was about three or four, “Dad, why did you bring that book I didn’t want to be read to out of up for?” I suspect the answer was along the lines of, “Sh, you’re jolly lucky to get a bed time story at all!”

  23. Apart from putting “Nick of time” into 1a, which held me up in the NW corner, the rest was plain sailing….. until I got to 26a. I can’t quite see why it’s “reportedly”. The two words don’t sound the same to me. A bit of a stretch I think. All in all, still enjoyable. Many thanks to the setter, and to Pommers for the entertainment value. My corner shop that normally sells mini bottles of hand gel for £1 …..has just put the price up to £5.99!!! I was asked if I wanted any. “No thanks, I already have some” was my reply, but I went home and gave my hands a good wash.

      1. You are right. I was thinking “ to tack”, not “tacked”. I was racing ahead of myself. My mistake.Apologies to all.

        1. I started off putting nick of time too then realised that the first word didn’t fit anything else.

  24. I agree with most that this was good fun and not tricky.
    I’ve never heard of 4d, or the 18a book but got there in the end.
    I liked 1, 14 and 18a and 1 and 3d.
    Thanks to the setter and to pommers.
    Off to the garden – it’s sunny but still a chilly breeze.

  25. A gentle start to the week. Nothing very taxing. I suppose if we oldies are confined to barracks later today, we could always actually read ” war and peace”. Brighton rock is well worth reading for those who haven’t. Has anyone got any other recommendations?

    1. “Life of Pi” by Yann Mantel. “Lord of the Rings” by J R R Tolkein. “The Girl who loved Tom Gordon” by Stephen King, which is, unusual for him, not a horror story. “The Clan of the Cave Bear” by Jean M. Aue.

      Not to all tastes of course – just suggestions.

    2. À la recherche du temps perdu – Proust; that’ll give you plenty to think about, or Seven Pillars of Wisdom – T E Lawrence
      Better still, download a copy of Crossword Compiler and have a go at setting
      Failing that, learn chess (my other obsession)

      1. I think I spend quite enough time in search of this as it is! Thank you. I’ll bear it in mind!

      1. Have you really read this? I think this may come at the end of month 4 of quarantine. The thought of it is on a par with painting the bathroom and watching the paint dry! But who knows? That could become the height of entertainment.

    3. Malcolm Gladwell has a new book out. I prefer his audiobooks, he has such a mellifluous voice.

  26. Stuck at Grenoble airport trying to get home after an abortive skiing holiday.
    Well I found this much harder than the experts, mainly because it was a struggle to get on any sort of wavelength.
    Many unparsed, so looking forward to reviewing the hints.
    Thanks all.

      1. Thanks In a.
        French government have a lot to answer for, for not shutting the resorts before we left the UK.

  27. Very enjoyable puzzle from ??? 6a and 14a my favourites among many good clues. Managed this puzzle without hints or solutions and parsed all the clues, so very pleased with myself. Thank you to Pommers and the setter.

    Thinking about hairdressers I am going online this afternoon to buy a hair trimmer as it is time for a haircut soon. These will be the next panic buy. Remember you read it here first.

  28. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the review and hints. A nice start to the week. A couple of tricky bits, as Pommers said. I made it even trickier by putting “nick of time” in 1a, but soon saw the error of my ways. I liked 9d, but my favourite was 3d. Last in was 18a, which I thought at one time could’ve been “Moroccan Roll”, old album by Brand X with Phil Collins. Was 2*/3* for me.

  29. OK, time to ‘fess up. I too went for Nick of Time in 1a. It almost works as Nick is the boy and the issue is the same as in the real answer. Couldn’t parse the OF so didn’t actually put it in. It was the J from Jalopy that gave the game away.

    I see Spain is to close its borders from midnight tonight with only Spanish citizens and foreigners who are legal residents allowed to enter the country. That will do wonders for the tourist industry!

    1. It was the “J” from Jalopy that made me change the Nick of time. I couldn’t work out where the “of” was meant to come from either.

  30. Out before the blog was posted – joining in the invasion of eateries by 70+ers trying to fit in a ‘last supper’ before we are all confined to barracks. In case you look in later, Beaver, I returned home to the news that there are now two confirmed cases of the wretched virus in Beaumaris – we’ve obviously left it too late to blow up the bridges and place Valley airfield and the port into lock-down!
    Pleasant Monday puzzle this morning with no standout favourite but mentions for 6,12,14&26a plus 22d. Thank goodness I’m an avid follower of Call the Midwife – made 12a far easier!

    Thanks to our setter and also to Pommers for the review. Welcome to the Monday slot, great to have you on board.

  31. Welcome to your first Monday blog, pommers, most entertaining.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this, not easy but not mind boggling. I was left with 9d unsolved and had to use e-help for that, then I realised it was an anagram.
    Lots to like, 14a was my fave. I stupidly spelt 16d incorrectly, leaving me with 21a starting with “c” as in “c-b- j—”?? I also liked 3d, loved the movie, long time ago.
    Thanks to our setter for the fun and pommers for his review.

  32. Haven’t started yet but wanted to pop in and send best wishes to everyone here ative and lurkers alike. We are not under lock down yet be we are self isolating simply because we can.

    I am not sure how many scam/spam phone calls happen in other countries but lately here in Canada we have been getting quite a few claiming to be from the federal government, usually about taxes or unpaid fines or something. We ignore them of course but lately they have been showing a BC caller I.D. and appear to be in Mandarin. I haven’t done it yet but I am SOOOOOO tempted to click #1 and talk to an agent and then start singing the Goon Show Ying Tong Song. Diddle I Po! Diddle I Po!!
    Sorry politically incorrect but I guess they can add that to the charges when their threatened police officer comes to pick me up :-)

    1. I get so many spam calls, mainly trying to lower my credit card interest rates, ridiculous as I never owe money on credit cards, that’s the biggest waste of money. They all come in on hacked phone numbers, I’ve even had some come in with my own caller ID. I get warnings that my social security number has been hacked and I’m going to be slung in jail. It’s never ending. Good luck.

      1. I get so many I’ve stopped answering my land line. I get them on my mobile too but not so many so I block them.

  33. Enjoyable puzzle today. Not being a ‘modern man’ I did not know who Cochrane was or the TV show. Having lived in the USA, however, I immediately got 1d (which was my favourite), remembered the film in 3d, and having visited the Spanish port on a cruise had no trouble with 19d. Did a pilgrimage from there to Santiago de Compostela – by taxi – is that cheating? I pity any real pilgrims having walked hundreds of miles only to be barred entry!
    As to books I strongly recommend All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

  34. Hard work but quite enjoyed. A couple of bung ins when I could not quite parse at first. COTD was 27a, thanks for the clip Pommers, which brought back fond memories. Play School at 11:00am was the magic time when our two little ones settled down in front of the TV for their favourite program and I got to enjoy the DT cryptic in peace with my mid morning coffee. Then it was all go until blue Peter and Jackanory. We moved across the pond when the girls were 12 and 9 and I was always glad they had those quality children’s programs when they were little. They will love your clip Pommers.

  35. I enjoyed this Monday puzzle more than those recently,,, a little testing in a couple of places but all done
    2.5*/4* quite a few favourites.
    Many thanks to setter & Pommers for Monday review

  36. I’m off to bed now as I need some sleep to prepare for another day of doing nothing. Well, apart from painting the lounge which is the last room needing fettling after the flood and doing a few crossies.

    See y’all in a couple of weeks – it’s Falcon back in harness next monday.

  37. Thoroughly enjoyable, although 1d threw me with the US slang word. Thanks to compiler and Pommers; loved the clip of Rod and Ronnie on Unplugged. Happy memories in dark times. Stay safe all.

  38. I would have finished this ages ago if I hadn’t nodded off after my dinner. I’m not keen on the PM’s advice of not visiting the pub it sounds a little extreme to me. They’ve cancelled the skittles league for the rest of the season anyway, so that’s out, but I’ll probably play darts as we only play socially and we can stand 3 feet apart just to be safe. I’ve refused to panic buy anything except the 6 bottles of Lindeman’s bin 45 cabernet sauvignon which was on offer. Good crossword favourite 14a. Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  39. Yes, a fairly straight forward Monday offering but there were a few testers. COTD candidates: 3d, excellent and had an Australian ring to it and 9d. Also 14 and 18a. Thanks to and the setter🦇

  40. All finished quite quickly without help save for looking up Double Acrostic which I worked out but failed to spot the anagram. Last three in were 21 and 24a and 3d in that order. Perhaps I was slow on 3d as I thought it would be a cricketing clue. I agree with Pommers as difficult to deduce which was the anagram indicator. Not sure whether I was looking for a synonym of revolutionary or crushed. With regard to the latter I was somewhat afraid that the answer may be a named revolutionary other than the usual one. But I got there and still overall in a good time. Thank you Setter and new Monday hinter.

  41. 3*/3*…..
    liked 22D ” cook taking breather round middle of afternoon (5) “

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